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Posts tagged: March Madness

Gonzaga Refuses To Go South

Down the stretch, Gonzaga coach Mark Few began treating it just like a road game. The majority of the 14,176 inside EnergySolutions Arena had gravitated to underdog Southern University, sensing the possibility of a 16-seed knocking off a No. 1 for the first time in NCAA tournament history. They roared with every clutch Jaguars’ play – a ridiculous fadeaway 3-pointer by Derick Beltran, a pair of game-tying free throws by Brandon Moore, another score-knotting jumper by Beltran. Few hunkered down with his players during the last three timeouts. “Hey, it’s fine,” he told them. “We’ve been in this (situation), where the whole place has kind of turned. I kept telling them, ‘It doesn’t matter. The crowd doesn’t get a say in this, the officials don’t get a say in this. Nobody gets a say in what happens next except us’”/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo: Kelly Olynyk elevates to shoot)

Question: I'm of the opinion that the tight game with No. 16 meant as little as a blow-up would have. The won. On to the next game. They'll do better. What do you think?

Olynyk Featured On SI Cover

This year's Sports Illustrated covers feature four key players and teams that snagged No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Above is the Sports Illustrated cover for the West, featuring Gonzaga Bulldog big man Kelly Olynyk, who led the Zags to a 31-2 record. You can see all the SI covers here.

Question: Is Olynyk your favorite player on current Bulldog team?

Gonzaga Claims No. 1 Seed

Perhaps you’ve read this before: For the first time in school history, Gonzaga … Well, here we go again. Roughly two weeks after earning the first No. 1 ranking in school history, the Bulldogs landed the program’s first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament when the brackets were revealed Sunday. Gonzaga (31-2) will face 16th-seeded Southern (23-9), champion of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, in a West Region opener Thursday in Salt Lake City. The teams squared off in the season opener two years ago with Gonzaga rolling to a 117-72 victory over the Jaguars at the McCarthey Athletic Center. “It’s an honor to be the first team to do that here,” sophomore guard Kevin Pangos said of the No. 1 seed. The Gonzaga-Southern winner advances to face the winner of No. 8 Pittsburgh-No. 9 Wichita State/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: GU’s Kelly Olynyk is interviewed at the McCarthey Athletic Center)

Question: Are you satisifed that Gonzaga was considered the fourth No. 1 seed?

AM: Lady Zags Are Still Dancing

Gonzaga's Shannon Reader (31) celebrates a teammate's score against Miami in the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round women's college basketball game in Spokane Monday. Gonzaga defeated Miami 65-54. See Jess Brown's story below. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Ohio State 73, Gonzaga 66

Gonzaga's Robert Sacre, center, tries to squeeze a shot between Ohio State's Evan Ravenel (30) and Lenzelle Smith, Jr., left in the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament third-round college basketball game on Saturday in Pittsburgh. Game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Then There Was One WCC Team Left

Purdue's Robbie Hummel, center, is fouled by Saint Mary's Stephen Holt (14),  Jorden Page, right, and Rob Jones, rear, in the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., Friday. Purdue won 72-69. On Thursday, BYU lost, leaving the Gonzaga Bulldogs as the only WCC team and only team in the Pacific Time Zone left in the NCAA Tournament. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

In his March Madness column today, John Blanchette/SR writes: “This is about the stage of March Madness when the Gonzaga apostle begins peeking at Faust’s bracket and weighing the bargain. Do you give up everything you have for just one shot at having it all? It’s a mostly specious question anyway, as each inch of real estate in the NCAA basketball tournament must be fully earned. Deals with the devil are generally not third-party accommodations, and so the Bulldogs must play straight up with the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes today with passage to the Sweet 16 at stake. And that’s a pretty good deal, too, if you think about it. “Lot of teams would like to change places with us,” Zags center Rob Sacre pointed out unnecessarily.” More here.

Question: What would you sacrifice to see Gonzaga reach the Final 4?

Norfolk, Lehigh Send No. 2s Packing

Kyle O'Quinn's booming voice echoed through the halls, the jovial center for Norfolk State riding the euphoria of a monumental upset of Missouri as the words spilled out of his mouth faster than he could think. “We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets!” he bellowed, before turning a corner and seeing a pack of reporters. “We even messed up my bracket,” he said sheepishly. O'Quinn put together the finest game of his career at the biggest moment in the history of Norfolk State basketball. The senior finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds, helping the No. 15 seed Spartans to an 86-84 victory over the second-seeded Tigers on Friday/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Norfolk State's Brandon Wheeless celebrates after defeating Missouri 86-84 in an NCAA tournament)

Question: Do you prefer to root for Davids or Goliaths in athletic competition?

P.S. Women Are Dancing, Too

Idaho State's Chelsea Pickering dishes off a pass during practice in the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. No. 11 Gonzaga will face No. 6 Rutgers at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Women's NCAA Tournament. Rutgers didn't like traveling across the country to face “visiting” Gonzaga in The Kennel. Story here.

Pangos, Zags Drop Mountaineers

Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga drives to the hoop and is fouled by Kevin Jones of West Virginia during their second round game of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh Thursday. Gonzaga won the game 77-54 to advance. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: Have you changed your mind re: Gonzaga's chances in the NCAA Tournament as a result of the Zags' convincing victory over West Virginia?

Ode To The New Month

Your hours will bring joy,
your days will bring gladness;
how welcome you are,
you month of March Madness.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue (AP file illustration)

CDAJim: And A 10YO Will Lead Us

CDAJim: Over the weekend we got the final report on the March Madness bracket contest that we competed in. There were 133 of us in the competition with me, my wife and son nowhere close to getting in on the winnings. However, the winner, who had picked UConn and beat out everyone in total points and won over $460…. WAS 10 YEARS OLD !!!

Question: How did you do with your NCAA tournament brackets?

Mayor Cancels Meeting For NCAAs

Monday's Bozeman City Commission meeting has been called on account of March Madness. Mayor Jeff Krauss says he can't attend because there's a chance that his favorite team, University of Kentucky, could be playing in the NCAA men's basketball championship game. “Everybody knows Kentucky basketball fans are lunatics and I'm no exception,” Krauss said Thursday. Krauss noted, however, that Monday would have been maybe the fourth meeting he's ever missed in his seven years on the commission, which meets four times a month. Kentucky will play University of Connecticut on Saturday to determine which team goes on to Monday night's title game/Amanda Ricker, Bozeman Chronicle. More here.

Question: Would you be upset if Mayor Sandi Bloem or Mayor Clay Larkin or the mayor of your town canceled a meeting to watch a sports event?

Ramirez: March Madness

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Gonzaga 86, St. John’s 71

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No. 11-seeded Gonzaga took command early with a 12-0 run, built an 11-point halftime lead and cruised to an 86-71 victory over No. 6 St. John’s on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Denver. Gonzaga (25-9) will face No. 3 BYU (31-4), which will join the WCC next season, on Saturday. The winner advances to the Sweet 16. BYU eliminated Wofford 74-66. Marquise Carter scored 24 points, Steven Gray hit four 3-pointers and added 16 points, and Elias Harris had 15 for the Bulldogs, who shot over 60 percent from the field for most of the game before dropping into the 50s late. Dwight Hardy led SJU (21-12) with 24 points/Jim Meehan, SR. Gonzaga-St. John's ESPN boxscore here  (SR photos: Dan Pelle)

Purdue beats Siena in Spokane

Purdue’s Chris Kramer, left, battles Siena’s Alex Franklin in the first half of their first-round NCAA tournament matchup at the Spokane Arena on Friday, March 19, 2010

Keaton Grant ignited the decisive run that rallied fourth-seeded Purdue past No. 13 seed Siena 72-64 on Friday in the first round of NCAA tournament’s South Regional.

Grant’s 11 points to begin the second half opened up the inside for teammate JuJuan Johnson’s 23 points. Johnson, the tallest player on either team at 6-foot-10, also tied a career high with 15 rebounds. More.

My goal is to make it through the weekend without watching any basketball. How about you?

NCAA likes to play the numbers game

Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson, right, shoots over MSU’s Delvon Roe.

This falls in the category of Things to Worry About Later, certainly.

The NCAA basketball tournament games coming our way Friday are version 3.0 of March Madness at the Spokane Arena, and soon enough the din from the bleachers will drown out the inevitable bleating that the committee never sends us a top seed (because those No. 1 vs. No. 16 games are always such good theater) and that the hockey team has to start the playoffs out of town. John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

Read more, including Friday’s game schedule and today’s practice sessions here.

Where will you watch the NCAA action? At the Arena? At home? Your favorite watering hole? Is there anyone who will NOT be watching basketball this weekend?

Gonzaga women open in Seattle

Gonzaga players watch the selection show Monday, March 15, 2010, and find out they will play North Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Championship Tournament. From left are Courtney Vandersloot, Carter Schick, Vivian Frieson and Heather Bowman.

SEATTLE — While the Gonzaga men got shipped across the country, the Gonzaga women are just going across the state.

The Bulldogs were given a No. 7 seed in the Sacramento region of the NCAA women’s tournament on Monday. They will open play on Saturday night against No. 10 seed North Carolina in the first round.

The other first-round matchup to be played in Seattle will feature No. 2 seed Texas A&M, champions of the Big 12 Conference tournament, against No. 15 seed Portland State, winners of the Big Sky tourney. More.

In NCAA related news Spokane’s Doubletree Hotel is scrambling to host teams. More here.

So how much basketball are you going to watch this week?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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